BBQ Safety

In my work as a home inspector I see a great deal of deck damage from barbecues. IOt is quite common to see deck surfaces and adjacent walls with scorch marks and melted vinyl siding. Luckily most of these cases don't end up in fires, but they do cause some expensive damage. For example, when waterproof deck surfaces are damaged in one area it may be necessary to replace at least some of the special plywood underlayment and re-surface the entire deck. And when vinyl siding is damaged in one area finding some matching replacement material can be very difficult.

Another type of damage from BBQs comes from grease and other spills around the BBQ area. Soft woods like western red cedar and redwood can absorb such liquids and the resulting stains are difficult to remove.

So here are some tips that should help in avoiding such problems:

  • A connected garden hose and/or fire extinguisher should be in reach of any BBQ, smoker or similar device.
  • Place your BBQ/smoker on a flameproof and easy to clean surface surface. A sheet of tile backer board is inexpensive and depending on the type it is relatively easy to clean. A tile surface on such a board might even add a decorative touch to your deck.
  • A space of 18"+ between the BBQ and any wall surface is a good rule of thumb. But 18" is not enough for vinyl siding and some painted surfaces.
  • Ease of cleaning is another good reason to stain or treat wood surfaces. Painting wood decks is not a good idea. The paint tends to peel and is hard to maintain.

Have a great BBQ!


p.s. Take a look at all of our EB-TY® Deck Food recipes!